Blueberries, Blueberries

My mother-in-law has 5 really big blueberry bushes in her yard.  Since she lives alone she gets more berries than she can possibly use, so she shares with us!

Just before this year’s berries were ready to pick she gave me all of the berries that were in her freezer.  I came home with 9 ziplock bags full of blueberries.  My dilema was how to preserve this abundance of goodies.

Last year I made blueberry jelly with the berries she gave me but, since we don’t use much jelly or jam I really did not want to do that again.  I was looking through the canning Bible-

bb-bible

and found the instructions for canning berries for use in baking.  This was exactly what I needed-preserve the berries until I was ready to bake with them, then drain the liquid and use as fresh.

I got out all the canning supplies and cleaned everthing up.

bb2a-jars

The next step was to wash the blueberries and put them in a pot to warm.

At the same time I put the jars in the canner to heat them.

The water should cover the jars by at least an inch and it needs to be heated to at least 180 degrees.  Meanwhile be sure to stir the berries to keep them from sticking.

The lids and bands also need to be heated to 180 degrees.  Be sure the lids do not boil or the seal may be damaged.

When the jars are ready and the blueberries are completely warm it is time to put them in the jars.  Using the jar lifter carefully remove one jar from the hot water and place it on a towel.  Put the wide mouth funnel in the jar.

Slowly add the berries to the jar.

Fill the jar to within 1 inch of the rim.  Using a plastic spatula remove the air bubbles from the jar by sliding the spatula between the berries and the jar.  Repeat a few times to be sure all the bubbles are removed.

Wipe the rim of the jar clean.

Place the lid on the jar and attach the band.  Tighten finger tight.

The jar is now ready to be returned to the canner.  Using the jar lifter (remember the jar is very hot) lift and place the jar back in the hot water.

Once all the jars have been filled and returned to the canner, cover the canner and bring water to a rolling boil.  The jars must boil for 15 minutes to process completely.

When the 15 minutes is up carefully remove the jars and place on a towel to cool.

Line the jars up with at least 1 inch between the jars to allow for cooling.

I now have 9 jars of blueberries just waiting to be used in my baking projects.  I sure am glad I found these instructions and my grandson, Christian, will be also.  He loves blueberries!  The berries are ready and waiting for you, buddy.

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